PA Chamber Director of Government Affairs Alex Halper provided the Pennsylvania business community’s response to rising inflationary costs and offered remedies last week while testifying at a House Majority Policy Committee public hearing.
Halper noted that pandemic-related challenges that included business closures, workforce shortages and supply chain backups have contributed to the inflationary damages, citing a U.S. Chamber poll that found 85 percent of small businesses nationwide are concerned about the impact of the highest inflationary figures in 41 years, and more than two in three businesses report having to raise prices to cope with increased input costs. As noted in a story in The Morning Call, Halper told the committee that these surging prices are hurting families and employers already rocked by pandemic shutdowns and stoppages. “This run-up in the cost of food, energy and other necessary goods and services is fundamentally, a product of too little supply to meet the current demand,” he said.
Halper added that the U.S. Chamber is working at the federal level to address inflationary pressures by focusing on housing, energy and food, urging lawmakers to help facilitate greater domestic energy production, support the agricultural sector, and encourage housing construction by reducing tariffs and reforming zoning and permitting laws, among other proposals.
At the state level, Halper offered a multi-tiered strategy to combat inflation by focusing on the following policy areas:
- Tax: Halper promoted meaningful, pro-growth tax reforms, most notably a reduction in Pennsylvania’s Corporate Net Income Tax rate of 9.99 percent – a long-term policy goal for the PA Chamber that is being negotiated as part of the 2022-23 state budget;
- Workforce: Enacting a multi-pronged workforce strategy to address a current worker shortage, helping employers in the near-term and bridging a skills gap in the years and decades ahead;
- Energy: Ensuring the safe, robust development, production and transmission of domestic energy to help lower business expenses and keep our economy competitive.
Halper’s testimony was also covered in a story in The Bradford Era and The Pennsylvania Business Report.